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How older workers can help the economy


We need employers to actively retain, retrain and recruit older workers, writesPatrick Thomson of the Centre for Ageing Better

As your article highlights (Retirement age of 70 needed to avert pensions crisis, says WEF, 26 May), the demographic shift that we are currently facing may put financial strains on the economy unless changes to both employment and recruitment practices towards older workers are addressed. However, our increasing longevity needs to be seen as an opportunity, not a financial burden.

The fact we are living longer means we can enjoy longer careers, and it is estimated that extending the average working life by just one year could increase GDP by 1%, or £20bn by 2023. Our research has shown that people derive benefits from working in later life, as long as that work is fulfilling.

By 2020, one in three workers will be over 50 in the UK. If more of us are needing to work for longer, we will need to change our attitudes and ways of working. How we work and retire will be very different from our parents and grandparents. Employers need to consider more flexible ways of working to support older workers.
Patrick Thomson
Senior programme manager, Centre for Ageing Better


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